Recovery centre loses lease on Abbotsford farm
Joshua House loses lease on farm that could have housed 20 at-risk men
A charity that offers alcohol and drug recovery programs for men in Abbotsford, B.C., has been told it must vacate the land that was to be the site of its new facilities.
Joshua House, a Christian organization that teaches farming to help addicts recover, has leased farm land for the past five years and been preparing to open a facility for 20 men recovering from addiction.
The City of Abbotsford recently approved for Joshua House to open two new licensed recovery facilities on the farm.
But, the landlord has told the charity their lease will not be renewed, leaving executive director Angela Korkowski searching for a new home.
"We have to relocate and there is nothing around," said Korkowski.
Korkowski said two days after the licence was approved, the landlord gave notice.
"We are absolutely full, we actually have a wait list of 13 people who want to come in," she said. "That is why we were hoping the farm would go through."
Joshua House runs three licensed recovery houses in the Abbotsford area, with a wait list of 25 men.
Korkowski said she is frustrated because the board of directors at Joshua House spent five years preparing the property to become a rehabilitative farm.
If members of the non-profit society do find a new property, they will likely be forced to go through the public hearing and approval process once again.
"It's frustrating because you work so hard at it. First we had to push and push the city to keep our file going," said Korkowski.
"We were really excited, then the landlady pulled the plug on the whole thing anyway."
Initially the landowner had given Joshua House two months to vacate, but later agreed to abide by the terms of the lease, which expires next year.
with files from the CBC's Terry Donnelly